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Egyptian Journalists Say The Government Blocked Websites To Silence Unfavorable Coverage
“The state simply wants to have full control over all the media until the elections are over.”
By Maged Atef

Egyptian authorities have blocked nearly two dozen news websites, targeting publications that have been critical of the government, a move local journalists say is aimed at controlling the coverage of the regime ahead of next year’s presidential elections.

The country’s state-run news agency MENA announced on Wednesday that 21 websites were being blocked in the country because they were “supporting terrorism and extremism” and “spreading lies.” Egypt’s independent news site Mada Masr, Qatar-run news channel Al Jazeera, HuffPost’s Arabic edition, and local Egyptian publications like Araby21, Rassd, and Egypt Window are among the websites that have been banned.

“This is not the typical Egyptian regime attitude,” Lina Attalah, the editor-in-chief of Mada Masr told BuzzFeed News in an interview in Cairo. “We are used to facing troubles with the regime since we have always chosen to write the stories they don’t like to hear. We are used to being arrested or have cases filed against us, but blocking us is a new thing.” Mada Masr, since its founding in 2013, has regularly published critical stories of the regime in both English and Arabic.

The blocking of the websites comes one day after the arrest of prominent human rights lawyer Khaled Ali, who had announced his intent to run as a candidate against President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi in the 2018 presidential elections. Authorities in Egypt have targeted activists from Ali’s Aish We Horreiya — “Bread and Liberty” — party, and arrested at least 36 people in 17 cities throughout the country from five opposition parties and political youth groups. Many of the arrested have been accused them of insulting Sisi on social media platforms.

The top five groups when discussing Muslims and Islam - Where do you sit?

Muslim Conservatives 

Muslim Conservatives believe that Islam is perfect and that the Hadith and the Quran as a whole contain no errors. They view liberalism as a Western invention incompatible with their interpretation of the faith. They believe there is a cosmic war going on between the Muslim world and the West. They won’t blow you up any time soon but whether they be Salafist or Wahhabi, they often tend to support violent jihad against the West, including violence against civilians. Few in this group engage with Western media; they are far more active in Arab and Urdu media such as Aqra Channel, Al Jazeera Arabic and the like.

Muslim Moderates

Muslim Moderates also consider Islam to be perfect and the Quran and the Hadith to be inerrant. They like Conservative Muslims still believe punishment is necessary for anyone who questions Muhammad or the Quran, Canada’s a perfect example of moderate Muslims still being advocates for blasphemy law and Sharia law. However, they don’t as often follow the Quran that advocate violent jihad and they try to deny that any link exists between jihad and Islam. They are frequently seen in Western media, especially television, stating that Islam is a religion of peace, that terrorism has nothing to do with Islam, and that terrorist groups are un-Islamic. Their views on human rights cover a broad spectrum, from advocating public killing of gays to welcoming gays as equal citizens and from defending women’s right to wear head scarves to requiring them by law. Many have been educated enough to understand the West is not their enemy, but some justify jihad as a way of addressing grievances against Western imperialism and the West’s support for Israel. In the main, Muslim Moderates argue that terrorist groups such as ISIS, al-Qaeda, and Boko Haram have nothing to do with Islam and that those who speak out against it are motivated by racism, hatred of minorities or bigotry. Some Muslim Moderate organizations have high profiles in Western media, often acting as public-relations firms and lobby groups for Muslim communities. Examples include the Council on American–Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and CAGE in the United Kingdom. Prominent Muslim Moderates often seen on television include Linda Sarsour, Dean Obeidallah, Murtaza Hussain and Mahdi Hassan.

Muslim Reformers

Muslim Reformers either don’t consider the Quran to be perfect and the literal word of Allah or concede that some of its commandments are not applicable in the twenty-first century. They try to rally against extremist interpretations and to create new ones more in keeping with modern liberal values. They accept that there is a link between radical interpretations of Islam and terrorism. Many of them advocate for liberal government and separation of religion and state. Prominent individual Muslim Reformers include Maajid Nawaz, Asra Nomani, and Irshad Manji.

Pseudo-Liberal Apologists 

Pseudo-Liberal Apologists are mainly non-Muslim white liberals, they suck up and agree with Moderate Muslims argument that terrorist groups such as ISIS, al-Qaeda and Boko Haram have nothing to do with Islam and are either a result or a creation of Western imperialism. Pseudo-Liberal Apologists tend to agree that Islam is a peaceful religion and that those who speak out against it are motivated by racism, hatred of minorities or bigotry, or hold a neoconservative imperialist agenda and desire to kill all Muslims and steal resources from Muslim-majority countries… They tend to think that the greatest enemy of world peace is Western capitalism, a view they share with many Moderate and Conservative Muslims. Pseudo-Liberal Apologists tend to receive a lot of media attention; in U.S media, members of this group receive the most attention of any of the six groups. Examples include Glenn Greenwald, Reza Aslan and Chris Stedman. 

Genuine Critics of Islam 

Genuine Critics of Islam are mainly progressives, some of them atheists, who think that there is a connection between some interpretations of the religion and bad or violent behavior. They share many agreements with Muslim Reformers. Some tend to think that Islam in the twenty-first century represents a special case, and some do not. They are acutely aware of extremist groups in the Muslim world and around the globe and see a clear link between violence and some interpretations of the fundamentals of Islam. They view Islam itself as a major reason human rights are poorly upheld in most majority-Muslim countries. Most are also very critical of Christianity but are likely to argue that the Enlightenment has had a “buffering” effect on Christianity that Islam has yet to undergo, leaving Islam in need of enlightenment or reformation. They tend to differentiate between Islam as a set of ideas and interpretations and Muslims as people. Often, they mostly rely on statistics to resist making generalizations about Muslims as a whole. Prominent examples include Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Bill Maher, Salman Rushdie, Ali A. Rizvi, Aki Muthali, Sarah Haider and many others. 

Qatar rejects deadline demands, saying it does not fear military action - 2 July 2017

Qatar said on Saturday it does not fear any military retaliation for refusing to meet a Monday deadline to comply with a list of demands from four Arab states that have imposed a de-facto blockade on the Gulf nation.
During a visit to Rome, foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani again rejected the demands as an infringement on Qatar’s sovereignty. He said any country is free to raise grievances with Qatar, provided they have proof, but said any such conflicts should be worked out through negotiation, not by imposing ultimatums.
“We believe that the world is governed by international laws, that don’t allow big countries to bully small countries,” he told a press conference in Italy. “No one has the right to issue to a sovereign country an ultimatum.”
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates cut diplomatic ties with Qatar last month and shut down land, sea and air links. They issued a 13-point list of demands, including curbing diplomatic ties to Iran, severing ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and shuttering the Al-Jazeera news network. They accuse Qatar of supporting regional terror groups, a charge Qatar denies.
Al Thani rejected the demands and said they were never meant to be accepted.
“There is no fear from whatever action would be taken; Qatar is prepared to face whatever consequences,” he said. “But as I have mentioned … there is an international law that should not be violated and there is a border that should not be crossed.”
While in Rome, Al Thani met with Italian foreign minister Angelino Alfano, who backed the Kuwait-led mediation effort and urged the countries involved in the standoff to “abstain from further actions that could aggravate the situation”.
He added that he hoped Italian companies could further consolidate their presence in Qatar

Twitter briefly suspends Al-Jazeera Arabic amid Qatar rift

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – Social media platform Twitter briefly suspended the account of Al-Jazeera Arabic amid a wider diplomatic dispute between Qatar and Arab nations.

Twitter later reinstated the account Saturday, a move that comes after Arab nations have blocked websites and broadcasts by Doha-based Al-Jazeera.

Another Al-Jazeera Arabic account described the move as part of an “organized campaign” targeting it. Al-Jazeera has said it has come under cyberattack as well amid the diplomatic crisis.

San Francisco-based Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Among its top investors is Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a member of the kingdom’s royal family.

Saudi Arabia has led other Arab nations in cutting diplomatic ties to Qatar on June 5 over allegations the nation supports extremists. Qatar long has denied that.

anonymous asked:

alla the Mesopotamian and Arabian allah are they of the same origins . how is alla render in Sumerian versus allah ? what is the meaning of all . appreciate it

This is a great question!  Unfortunately, my answer is going to be a bit uncertain, because arguing about the origins of the names of deities is a hallowed tradition of scholars, and any concrete answers are usually lost to history.  However, here’s what I can say:

1) I’m not sure exactly what you mean by “alla the Mesopotamian.”  I think you may be talking about the word “ilu,” which meant “deity” in Akkadian.  It’s the same root word that appears in the Canaanite god Ilu/El and the Israelite god El/Eloah— a basic term referring to any divine being.

2) In Arabic, “Allah” means “the one God.”  (Thus Arabic-speaking Christians refer to God as Allah, just as Muslims do.)  The current scholarly theory about the word’s origin is that it comes from “al-ilāh,” shortened into a single word.  “Ilāh” is that same word root as in Akkadian, a word for a deity. “Al” is a particle, the equivalent to “the”; you can see it elsewhere in the network name “Al-Jazeera,” “The [Arabic] Peninsula.”  Together, they mean “the God,” emphasizing monotheism.  So yes, Allah is probably derived from the same root as ilu.

3) Sumerian is not a Semitic language (unlike Akkadian, Arabic, and Hebrew), so it has a totally different word for deities.  In Sumerian, “dingir” is the term for a deity, and the cuneiform sign for it looks like a star, thus connecting deities to the sky.

Watch on vfpalestine.tumblr.com

In light of the recent news with Al Jazeera America shutting down, I want to take the opportunity to spread this documentary as far and wide as I can. 

“The Day Israel Attacked America,” a documentary produced by Al Jazeera, shines a much needed light on what really happened to the USS Liberty all those years ago. Please watch and share, as it exposes many of the very same censorship practices running rampant among political Zionists to this day. 

And here’s Cristiano….ohhhh my Goodness! My dear Goodness! He is back! The king is back and the Ballon d'Or is his! El Don has returned to his kingdom! Just as the Bernabéu had a minute of silence for Eusébio tonight, they are now having a minute of pure pleasure, pure happiness, pure pride to see his golden legs score this golden goal! He is the king of the castle. There’s no one like him! The Bernabéu adores you, Cristiano! El Ferrari, el don, incredible!
—  My arabic commentator basically losing his mind after Cristiano’s second goal vs. Celta de Vigo [min. 92]